Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Central Market in Clear Lake? FINALLY?!

This post title is a spoof of sorts.  Three weeks ago, I published "Whole Foods in Clear Lake?  FINALLY?!" and it immediately went mildly viral (for a micro-blog), attracting almost a thousand legitimate hits (no bots) to date and even being referenced by name in the hallowed pages of Galveston County Daily News

And all I had was a strong rumor - no factual evidence whatsoever.  That's an indication of just how desperate Clear Lakers are for some decent groceries.   They'll grasp at whatever literary straw appears on the e-landscape, no matter how tenuous.

So it is with a conflicted conscience that I now report another rumor, knowing full well that I might ultimately be contributing to the soul-crushing disappointment of my fellow foodies if it fails to fulfill. 

The rumor says that a Central Market is being planned for an area near the intersection of El Dorado Boulevard and Clear Lake City Boulevard.
My first response to the rumor-spreader was, "Even if they were going to build one, why the hell would they put it way back there?!"

Screengrabbed from Googlemaps.
It is true that there is abundant undeveloped land in this area, something that is becoming a rarity in Clear Lake, which is almost built out by now.
It is also true that the surrounding developments (Pine Brook, Bay Oaks, Bay Forest, Brookwood) are some of the wealthiest for miles in every direction, and wealth is what stimulates the development of higher-end grocery stores.  I love that area from an esthetic and quality-of-life perspective but we chose not to live there because it's a full fifteen to twenty minutes from the freeway.  And as a Centerpointer, you know without having to ask that easy access to the freeway is a priority.  She said as she listened to the drone of speeding cars outside her window.   
It's also arguably true that those wealthiest subdivisions currently have limited access to groceries of any kind - high-end or not.
Realistically, unless those residents want to make a day-trip of it, their best recourse is the Randalls at Clear Lake City and Space Center Boulevards (the blue marker above). 

Wrap your head around that one:  These are some of the most highly-educated, high-earning, hard-working people in our society, and they are forced to shop at (gulp) Randalls.  If there was any justice in life, someone ought to be able to bring a lawsuit for emotional distress on account of conditions like those.   

Yeah, I know - there are people starving in Africa right now.  I'm just trying to use humor to diffuse a bit of the frustration we've built up over decades of retail neglect, here. 

Screengrabbed from GoogleMaps, although not all of those marker flags indicate true grocery stores.  Some of them are convenience-store type mini-marts. 
Have I been able to find even the faintest trace of evidence in support of this latest rumor?  Nnnnnnope - not one bloody bit.  As a matter of fact, historical precedent actually points to the contrary.  If you recall from this post, I was one of the people who fussed and screamed when HEB Clear Lake Market was initially developed into a mainstream HEB instead of a Central Market.  When I questioned the senior management on the wisdom of that choice, I was met with a perfunctory smile and the following memorable quote:

"Our market research indicates that this is not a health-conscious community."
Speaking of emotional distress, eh?  This is a screengrab from that original blog post
But as the old saying goes, that was then and this is now.  Maybe "market research" has begun pointing to a different conclusion.  If Central Market Clear Lake Texas does come to pass, you can say that you heard it here first.  Even if it wasn't actually true at the time. 
"We need one in the Clear Lake area of Houston".  No sh*t, Sherlock!  Keyword associations such as appear on sites like this are all I am able to find when I go trolling for evidence that this rumor might be true. 

Screengrabbed from Google. 
When hell freezes over, maybe?

1 comment:

  1. Close. It's going to be an HEB. Visit http://fidelisrealtypartners.com/Properties/ClearLakeMarketplace. The remainder of that tract is going to be developed by Trendmaker Homes: http://reserveclearlake.com.


I'm forced to moderate comments because the spammers have become too much for me to keep up with. If you have a legitimate comment, I will post it promptly. Sorry for the inconvenience.